Workers' compensation insurance provides wage replacement and medical benefits to employees who are injured during the course of employment in exchange for mandatory relinquishment of the employee's right to sue his or her employer for the tort of negligence. This tradeoff between guaranteed insurance coverage and the relinquishment of the right to sue an employer in tort is frequently referred to as the "compensation bargain."
However, injured workers are not strictly limited to workers' compensation benefits following a workplace injury. In addition to a workers' compensation claim, injured workers may bring a lawsuit against the manufacturer of a defective product that caused a workplace injury, or against third-parties whose acts or omissions proximately caused an injury. Furthermore, under certain extreme circumstances, a worker who is injured on the job may circumvent the workers' compensation bar and sue his or her employer.
These causes of action must be raised in a lawsuit that is separate and apart from a workers' compensation claim. Failure to raise these claims within the time permitted under the law can result in an injured worker losing the ability to pursue all possible compensation for injuries sustained on the job. It is thus important that injured workers consult with an experienced work injury lawyer who can analyze all facts surrounding a workplace injury and then initiate the proper legal claims on behalf of the injured worker.
The Reinartz Law Firm is an experienced work injury law firm with offices in Jersey City, New Jersey and New York City. Contact us to discuss your case or to schedule a free consultation.